2026 – Tiny Town

 Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 R  Comments Off on 2026 – Tiny Town
May 062012
 

Here’s the picture for Friday, one more from the tiny Czech town of Telc, right across the border from Austria. It’s all Lightroom again. Well, now that some time has passed since I processed it, colors look a tad too cool to me, but forgive me, I’m learning.

The lens is the cheap Olympus 40-150 again. Incredible how useful it can be on such a trip 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Tiny Town” from David Byrne’s 1992 album “Uh-Oh”. Wonderful album, good song, hear it on YouTube.

Sep 252010
 

Three days without update? I was lazy. Sorry, I can offer no other excuse 🙂

Let’s try to get back to synchronicity real fast, shall we? This is an image from Wels, a small town of pre-Roman origin in Upper Austria. We were there at a fair, and this is an image from the main square. It’s a variation on the last days’ “Shooting into the Sun” theme, this time it is right behind the glass of the street light.

The Song of the Day is “A Good Old Fashioned Town” from Paul Heaton’s 2008 album “The Cross Eyed Rambler”. See a live performance on YouTube.

Aug 252010
 

Nightfall in a town, a ball of chrome, some lights. This is one more image with the 50/1.2. There may be something sharp in this image, but at the nearest focus distance and at f1.2 it can’t be that much 🙂

The Song of the Day is an unusual version of “The Way You Look Tonight“. Kevin Rowland and Dexy’s Midnight Runners on their third and last album “Don’t Stand Me Down”. You may like it or not, I love everything they did. This is a bonus track on a re-issue of the album, thus you have to look carefully. The one that I link to has it, and so has YouTube.

Jul 022010
 

I don’t know if I have enough material for the SoFoBoMo 2010 book that Ted Byrne asked me to make. Sure, I have a lot of images, and when, back home, I go through Villach, as I did last Sunday, when that image was taken, I see those juxtapositions of old and new, those layers, those sediments, here as well. They are everywhere, and maybe in Italy they are a little more obvious than elsewhere. But then, it won’t do to begin mixing things up. It’s either all Italy for the book, or there will be no book at all.

I knew I would be struggling, and I do. But at least I may catch up with my blog posts a little faster now 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Here, There And Everywhere” from the Beatles album “Revolver”. On Amazon it’s still only available as CD, thus I link to plastic. YouTube has it as well.

Jun 292010
 

Today is Tuesday and I am almost a week behind. Sorry, can’t help it. At least I am forced by chance to stay one more week in Carinthia, which gives me more time for working on images, than I would have had in Vienna.

Wednesday last week was mostly about Camogli, a small town north of the peninsula of Portofino, but on the way there we made a short stop in Rapallo.

With a population of around 30,000, Rapallo is more than just a small tourist center consisting mostly of hotels and restaurants. It’s a place where real people live, who don’t work in the tourism industry. The day before I had seen some places where I wanted to photograph, but in the end it was just this one with the biker and the scooter that remained. I like the movement in this image, and how the different directions of the biker and the scooter take up the zig-zag of the street decoration.

After leaving Rapallo, we crossed the peninsula and made a short deviation to its highest peak. From there, using the Nikon 70-300 VR, I took some images of Camogli below. Here is one at 84 mm, before and after processing.

It’s really challenging to get anything out of these images. We have fairly long distances, atmospheric haze, due to the heat twisting and bending light in fancy ways, low contrast and a blue cast in the distance, so I guess it is not too bad what I got out of post-processing. It’s more an illustration than a real photograph, but at least it illustrates something 😀

The next image is from the same point of view, zoomed further in, and finally with the Image of the Day we are all way in at 300 mm, an effective focal length of 450 mm on my D300.

Camogli is really the most wonderful of places, a dreamland for any photographer. As you can see, it’s a narrow strip of beach, and then everything is built into the mountain. It takes quite some minutes down along the winding street, until you reach the lowest parking area. Most of the town consists of these long, high buildings, and in the center, the roads are narrow, many of them not accessible by cars, with the historic core a pedestrian area anyway.

The image of the little waterfall was taken down from a bridge between the area of the Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi, probably the most beautiful hotel that I’ve ever seen, and the old town.

The complex at the far end of the beach, as seen in this image on the left, that is the Cenobio dei Dogi. We didn’t stay there 🙂

Actually I think that Camogli is an excellent place to stay for some days. Only don’t expect to leave very often. This town has everything: hotels, restaurants, a medieval center, art, a fishing harbor (last image in this post), enough beach, and everything is integrated with the past.

This is not your typical tourist town, some remains of the past, surrounded by an uncontrolled sprawl of bad architecture. Camogli has character, and I guess this is mostly because there was is no space to extend, no way to build modern roads. They would have had to tear down the whole town. Thankfully they didn’t, and so we can still enjoy one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Whatever you associate with the magic words “Italian Riviera”, Camogli has it, and in all its splendor it is not posh. Sure, the Cenobio is pure luxury, but there are all sorts of price classes here, and everything is in walking distance from the beach.

It’s a big difference between Camogli and Portofino, the latter being a former fishing village, now an overpriced and snobbish assembly of designer shops. Dior, Armani, Zegna, Ferragamo, Gucci, all are there, and upon entrance to Portofino, you are greeted by several juweler’s shops. The big 50 m yachts of Portofino, they are missing in Camogli as well, but the one thing that Camogli has and Portofino has not, that’s life.

I spent about one and a half hours photographing in Camogli. First I went along the beach, down to the church, using nothing but the Sigma 8-16, most of the time at 8mm. Then I changed back to the Nikon 70-300 VR for some images of the cliff-like facades. I took them from the farthest point, near the church.

Finally I changed to my most favorite lens, the Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC. At this day I really needed all three lenses. Believe me, in Camogli you have a Manhattan problem. Granted, the buildings are not that high, but this is made up by how narrow everything is.

Take the image on the right, of the people walking in front of these buildings. OK, the foreground is obviously exaggerated, but the buildings in the back, it would do absolutely no good to cut them off at the top. This is what you feel, this is what it looks like when you’re there.

Same thing with the church. Of course when you see those things in reality, you may see only part of them at any time, but the way our mind works, we put everything together, create one impression that is made up of so many images. That’s where the 8 mm help. Actually Camogli was the first time at all, that I felt a need for 8 mm.

Camogli. I could have spent much more time in this town, days even, and I think I may return one day, but for that afternoon I was completely exhausted. It was a hot day under a glaring sun, and when I returned after those 90 minutes of concentrated photographing, I was glad to give up and have a drink.

The title of this post and of the Song of the Day, Gershwin’s “How Long Has This Been Going On?“, is inspired by the long time that it took me to come up with it.

What did I do? Well, I have made about 1200 images, many of them documentary, the greater part made with SoFoBoMo 2010 in mind, many variants, and wading through all that costs me time. That’s the reason. But don’t worry, I won’t build up another post like this one. I hope to catch up soon.

The Song of the Day is a cover version by Jon Bon Jovi, taken from jazz harmonica player Larry Adler’s Gershwin album “The Glory Of Gershwin”. Singers include Sting, Elvis Costello, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Oletta Adams, Elton John, Cher, Sinéad O’Connor and many more. Fabulous album, highly recommended. YouTube has the song.

Jun 182010
 

This is not an image of yesterday. Mind you, I made one, a single one, but you don’t want to see it. It’s all mud and rain.

Instead of taking photographs, I just spent time working on my programming blog, adding to that mystical tome, my much hinted at and never seen Java Enterprise Edition 6 tutorial. Any day now, any day 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Old Town” from the Corrs’ 1999 “MTV Unplugged” album. YouTube has the video.

Oh, in case you want to know, this image was taken on Tuesday in the old parts of Villach. Same walk as “1341 – Come Home“.

Jun 162010
 

Sometimes I have no idea how I come up with Images of the Day.

Firstly, I have no idea why I took this particular image at all. It’s just a typical house in Villach. Something of the kind a lawyer or physician might have built at around 1900. There are lots of them if you look in the right neighborhoods, not only in Villach, this is typical Austrian architecture of that time.

Secondly, I have no idea why this was the first of yesterday’s images that I tried to work on. I just followed an impulse. With the foreground in shade and the bright, marbled sky, I quickly decided to take it to black and white, following the process outlined in “1338 – Pieces Of A Past Life I“. This time the black and white conversion took four different layers. The filters were “High Contrast Red” for the sky, “Maximum Black” for most of the architecture, “Infrared” for most of the vegetation and “Blue” for part of the street. Add some “Darkening” curves, a “Lighten” curve, both modified, maybe one more curve for contrast, a selective blur layer, a vignette, a toning layer and some sharpening. I liked the result, and so it ended up as Image of the Day. But still, don’t ask why 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Come Home” from the 1990 James album “Gold Mother”. Hear it on YouTube.

Jun 142010
 

As I was not overly productive today, let me bother you with some more images from Saturday’s trip to Linz, and to be precise, more images from Eisenerz.

Now we are where the meat is, or actually where it should be, and that’s already the problem.

All four images were taken at a place in the center called “Bergmannsplatz” (“Miner’s Square”), looking in different directions.

Eisenerz is really a beautiful, picturesque town, no doubt about it, but when you’re there, when you stand in that square, it is completely empty. And it’s not only that we see no people, there are no shops either.

At one corner not shown here, there was a branch office of a big insurance company, closed now. There are some cafés and restaurants, but they are either closed or seem deserted.

That’s what happens when people leave. Seemingly you can’t do much about it. Tourism is probably hampered by the fact that Eisenerz is far off any other attractions. The next city, Leoben, struggles with the decline of the industry in the region as well, and although there is still mining on Erzberg, the processes today need far less workers than they did even only 50 years ago.

People go where the work is, and seemingly Eisenerz failed to attract any new opportunities. It’s a wonder that the town is still beautiful as it is, even though I suppose that much money from the EU has been spent here, ultimately I can’t see how further decline could be held back. And that’s really a shame.

Well, actually that’s not true. I can see what could be done. I think Eisenerz is not only beautiful, it could also be a nice place to live. You only need people there, and that means you need work.

If I were in charge, I would do two things: I would found a technical school for software engineering in this place, and I would make it very attractive for software companies to invest here. How much would it cost? You need first class internet connections, you need to subsidize the school and the workplaces (but that’s something that’s obviously done anyway, only directed at tourism, and that won’t work), and you need a long breath.

In five years we could expect first results, a turning point, and with new people, with new work, the place would become attractive for shops and other infrastructure again. In the end, in ten or twenty years, this town could bustle with life, and it would well deserve it.

The Song of the Day is one more time “Pieces Of A Past Life”, by “The Postmen” from Geneva, Switzerland. Hear them on Jamendo.